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Migrant killed, interpreter raped as court okays Jungle demolition

Migrants waiting to be transferred from the Jungle to centres elsewhere in France
Migrants waiting to be transferred from the Jungle to centres elsewhere in France AFP
2 min

A migrant died on Tuesday night after a fight between Sudanese and Eritreans in a camp near Calais. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that demolition of the Jungle camp in the Channel port will start within the next few days after a court threw out and appeal by NGOs for it to be postponed.

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Three migrants have been taken in for questioning and an investigation into the killing of the man, whose nationality is uncertain, has been launched, local officials said.

The death followed a fight between about 50 inebriated Sudanese and Eritrean migrants at a camp in Norrent-Fontes, 60km from Calais, on Monday night.

Two were injured, one of them dying on Tuesday night.

The man is the 33rd migrant to die in the Calais area since January 2015, although most of the deaths have been traffic accidents as migrants try to board lorries heading for Britain.

An Ethiopian and a Sudanese died in intercommunal fighting this summer.

Afghan interpreter raped

A female interpreter working with a television journalist was raped in the Jungle on Monday night, investigators announced.

The pair, who were working for France 5 TV, were attacked by three knife-wielding Afghans, one of whom raped the woman, according to prosecutors.

A search is under way for the suspects.

Jungle demolition to start in few days

Bulldozers will start demolishing the camp within a few days, Cazeneuve said Tuesday after a court rejected an appeal for postponement by 11 NGOs.

The organisations had claimed that a precipitate evacuation would be an "attack on the fundamental rights" of the migrants, most of whom are from Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan.

The court ruled that it would end the "inhumane and degrading" conditions they are living in.

Estimates of how many people are currently there vary between 5,700 and 10,000.

Cazeneuve said that there are now 1,000 more places than Jungle residents available in reception centres being established around the country, sometimes in the face of opposition from some local residents.

Talks on transfer of minors to UK 'progressing'

Cazeneuve said that negotiations with the British authorities over the transfer of minors with families in the UK were "extremely tough" but "have been progressing very positively for several hours".

A recent headcount found 1,300 minors in the camp, about 500 of them claiming to have relations in Britain.

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